Archive for March 17th, 2018

When I was growing up in Binghamton, NY, John Burns was the mayor for a dozen years. From his November 2004 obituary:

“John was elected mayor of Binghamton in 1957 and re-elected in 1961.” He served in a bunch of other positions, including working on Robert Kennedy’s tragic 1968 campaign for President. “Governor Hugh Carey asked John to serve as his Appointments Secretary” in 1979, for instance.

I blew up balloons and the like for his brother Bill’s failed 1969 campaign for mayor.

What I most remember about John Burns is that he and his wife Theresa had 12 kids, double digits, just like his friend and mentor RFK. As far as I know, I didn’t know any of them.

At some point, several of the sisters moved to Ithaca, NY, not that far away, and The Burns Sisters began their professional musical career. “One of their earliest successes was when their music appeared in the Louis Malle film Atlantic City as a result of their brother Patrick who was working on the film. As a quintet [they were] made up of sisters Marie, Annie, Jeannie, Sheila, and Terry…

“In 1993 the quintet released Songs of the Heart before older sisters Terry and Sheila dropped out to devote more time to their families.” The trio had a modicum of success, including touring with Arlo Guthrie more than once.

“In 2012, the Burns Sisters released… The Hills of Ithaca. The title was inspired by a 1947 Woody Guthrie poem which the Burns Sisters put to music after being given the unpublished version by Woody’s daughter, Nora Guthrie.”

“Jeannie Burns left the band in 2013 to study guitar and songwriting, with Marie and Annie continuing to perform as a duo.” And it was the duo’s music that popped up on my YouTube feed, unbidden,

So it seems as though I am required to link to The Burns Sister’s rendition of Oh Danny Boy. The video shows pictures of their family over the years. It’ll link directly to some of their other songs.

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