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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Monday, January 13

Jack Jones

One of my favorite male singers (second only to Old Blue Eyes) is Jack Jones. When I saw that he’d be performing at the Arizona Broadway Theatre, I couldn’t resist, even though I knew he was now an old dude like me and probably could no longer sing very well. Right on one count: He’ll be 76 tomorrow, and his hair is a piled-high drift of snow and his gait has one or two hitches, but he stayed upright and sang for just over ninety minutes. Not bad for an old dude. And I was wrong on one count: He can still sing up a storm. All the high notes were still there, all the sustained notes, all the volume he needed. Before he came on stage, we were treated to a twenty-minute tape of his career highlights—clips from some of the movies he’d made and tv guest appearances, an especially good segment singing with a very young Shirley Bassey on one of his signature songs, “Here’s That Rainy Day.” Then he appeared, backed by piano, bass, keyboard, and drums. A few oldies mixed in with a bunch I’d never heard him sing. Highlights included “Wives and Lovers” for which he’d won a Grammy. He explained that he’d gotten a bunch of letters from various women’s groups pleading that he never again sing that song because it was so demeaning to women, painting them as only housewives while their husbands went out to earn the living. You know, “Wives should always be lovers too, run to his arms the moment he comes home to you.” He thought he should write new lyrics for it: “Hey, little boy, cap your teeth, get a hairpiece.” And a sensational set of two from Man of La Mancha, “I, Don Quixote” and “The Impossible Dream.” Later, he told us about the time he went to Paris to record songs by Michel Legrand, especially one with lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman, and I knew what was coming, maybe the best set of lyrics ever written, “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?” The entire audience sighed as one when he began. His closing featured a medley of two that said something about our need for world peace, John Lennon’s “Imagine” and Julie Gold’s “From a Distance.” It was a wonderful evening of songs by one of the greatest voices in the modern era.
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