In a reverse case of “Where you lead, I will follow,” a verse from one of Carole King’s countless hit songs, Bostonians trailed the iconic Brooklyn-born songstress around their state last month.
On May 11, along with Willie Nelson and Annie Lennox, King received an honorary degree from Berklee College of Music. That Friday, she spoke about her memoir “A Natural Woman” at Porter Square Books in Cambridge. She took a detour to Washington, D.C. for a May 22 White House ceremony, where she received the Library of Congress’ annual Gershwin Prize for Popular Song and where President Obama called King, the first female recipient of the award, “a living legend.” Then she was back in Beantown, on the bill of megastars performing in the May 30 “Boston Strong” benefit concert for the Marathon bombing victims.
King could rest right there on her laurels, but the longtime environmental activist and politically active citizen is neither a secluded celebrity nor a passive observer. During May she also made several campaign appearances on behalf of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey, at venues like Zaftig’s Delicatessen in Brookline, private homes in Lexington and Wellesley, The Center for Arts at the Armory in Somerville, and Lyndell’s Bakery in Cambridge.
She’s seen and done it all, and it wasn’t always pretty. Robin Lane endured a forsaken childhood during the Hollywood heyday, lived and performed with the giants of 1960s West Coast psychedelia, and slashed and burned through the punk rock era.
Now, Lane is lending her talents to help others overcome the life traumas she knows too well. Her foundation, Songbird Sings, extends musical and psychological healing to survivors of domestic violence, war, incarceration, post-traumatic stress disorder and childhood abuse.
On December 3, Lane will be performing at The Real School of Music in Burlington, Mass., with proceeds going to Songbird Sings. Lane will also appear at the Brooklyn Coffee and Tea House in Providence, R.I., on December 16, and will be part of the January 14 Hot Stove Cool Music concert in Boston, produced by Theo and Paul Epstein’s Foundation To Be Named Later.
Elizabeth Gaither and Jared Nelson in ‘The Great Gatsby.’ Photo by Steve Vaccariello.
F. Scott Fitzgerald — who dubbed the 1920s “the Jazz Age” — would surely approve.
This week, jazz clarinetist and composer Billy Novick and his band, the Blue Syncopators, will play Novick’s score for The Washington Ballet’s production of “The Great Gatsby” at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The ballet premiered in 2010 with seven sold-out shows.
Novick’s music can be heard in hundreds of commercials, film and television soundtracks, and he’s played jazz and rock with greats such as David Bromberg, Martha and the Vandellas, and J. Geils. He also wrote the soundtrack to a 2002 film on Holocaust artist Samuel Bak. But this gig’s got him grinning.
Uprooted at age 9, abandoned into poverty, targeted by anti-Semitism, exposed to the horrors of World War II and finally confined to a wheelchair, Ed Galing’s life has been beset by ongoing difficulties. Yet he has never lacked dedication, perseverance, or imagination, in art or in life. In eloquently written work that defies his hardscrabble Lower East Side and South Philadelphia origins, Galing has chronicled his remarkable journey in poetry, cartooning, storytelling and journalism.
At 94, the harmonica-playing poet laureate of Hatboro, Pennsylvania has an ultimate wish. Although he has received numerous literary awards (including two Pushcart nominations), citations from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Senate, and has written over 70 chapbooks, he has long dreamed of seeing his Jewish poetry in a published collection. That wish was granted in February with “Pushcarts and Peddlers” from Poetica Publishing Company, an offshoot of the Judaica-themed Poetica Magazine.
Interpreters of Genesis 22:1-19, which details Abraham’s near sacrifice of his only son on Mount Moriah, usually focus on the awesome loyalty and faith of our forefather. But Isaac’s role also invites analysis.
Psychiatrist and poet Freddy Frankel sees Isaac as a compassionate, perhaps older man who deems his father’s dilemma quite possibly unsound, yet empathetically calls him “my pious executioner.”
“In my conception, Isaac even suspected that his father perhaps heard voices in his head,” Frankel explained from his home in Newton, Mass.
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