Sad to note the passing of George Jones.

One of my dad’s favorites. Dad would do his songs as “set pieces” at jam sessions. Even as a snotty-nosed rock’n’roll teenager, I knew George Jones was a talent worthy of respect.

We sang this one as the recessional at Dad’s funeral last year:

An appropriate question today:


Sad to note the passing of Stompin’ Tom Connors.

Image from CBC.ca

I think everyone in Canada can sing at least one of his songs. From CTV:

Canadian country legend Stompin’ Tom Connors, whose rousing songs of Canadian life covered everything from Sudbury nickel miners to P.E.I. potato farmers, has died at the age of 77.

One story has it that in 1964, at the age of 28, Connors found himself at the Maple Leaf Hotel in Timmins, Ont., short five cents for a beer. He made up the difference by playing a few songs, and that turned into a 14-month contract.

He was known as “Stompin’ Tom” for tapping his boot on a wooden board in rhythm to his playing, and was rarely seen in public without his signature black cowboy hat.

Connors made a point of writing songs about Canadians, and as a result his music transformed him into a cultural icon. Some of his songs have become closer to national anthems, most notably “The Hockey Song.”

If Gordon Lightfoot is Canada’s Johnny Cash, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Stompin’ Tom is Canada’s Merle Haggard.

I wouldn’t be true to Name-Brand Ketchup without featuring Stompin’ Tom’s “The Ketchup Song.”


My dad passed away a year ago today.

IMG_0634
billjuddy2I posted about him here and here.

There hasn’t been a single day in the past year that I haven’t wanted to talk with him.

He is the best man I have ever known, or ever will know. If you knew him, you would say the same. I am proud to be his son.

Now has come the departing time
And here you must no longer stay;
But there is no comrade of thine
That will desire you were away.

Of all good times that e’er were shared
You leave us happy memory;
And for all the friendships that e’er you had
They fondly will remember thee.

I raise to thee the parting glass
And drink a health whate’er befalls
Then gently rise and softly call,
“Good night, an’ joy be to you all.”


Very sad to note the passing of Dave Brubeck.

Image from to-the-manner-born.blogspot.com

Image from songbook1.wordpress.com

“For as long as I’ve been playing jazz, people have been trying to pigeonhole me. Frankly, labels bore me.” – Dave Brubeck

I hear you’re mad about Brubeck/
I like your eyes, I like him too/
He’s an artist, a pioneer/
We’ve got to have some music on the new frontier.
– Donald Fagan, “New Frontier”

“If you own two and only two jazz albums, I’ll wager they’re Miles Davis’ ‘Kind of Blue’ and the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s ‘Time Out.’ This says a lot about your taste. Namely, that it’s good.” – Jed Gottlieb, Boston Herald

I own a lot more than two, but those two are among them.

Dave Brubeck passed away this morning from heart failure. He was 91, and would have turned 92 tomorrow.

My dad loved all kinds of music, and “Time Out” was one of the few record albums he would sit down and listen to, focus his attention on, time and again.

“Time Out” was released in 1959. Critics hated it at the time. Goes to show what critics know. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde: the critic is one who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.


Paul Wellstone died ten years ago today.

Image from kstp.com

I was living and working in Georgia. A good friend sent me an email at my office, telling me that Wellstone’s plane had gone down. I tried to call my then-wife at home to fill her in. There was no answer. But as I hung up the phone and turned around, there she stood in tears at my office door.

C-SPAN broadcast the memorial service live. A lot of tears at my house that evening.

Less than two weeks later I voted for the first time in Georgia. I wore my Wellstone ’90 button as a tribute. The polling place was crowded. As I finished voting and headed through the crowd to the door, a woman caught a glimpse of my button. She scowled at me and said, “Don’t let the door hit y’all on the way out.”

“No ma’am,” I replied with a grin, “I surely won’t.”

Years earlier I worked in the office building that Paul’s Minnesota headquarters was in. One day I headed to the deli in the building to grab lunch. In line right ahead of me… Paul Wellstone. He turned around, grinned, and extended his hand. “Hi, I’m Paul.”

“Yeah,” I gushed like a fanboy as I shook his hand. “I know.”


Went to Mabou today.

Went to the funeral today for Raylene Rankin.

Beautiful day outside. Standing room only. Amazing music. Not a dry eye in the house.

I never met Raylene, but was proud to pay my respects.

Naturally I didn’t take pics during the service or the reception. These will have to do.

The Red Shoe Pub is right across the street from the reception hall. Had lunch there.

All pics from me.

They played the studio version of this song before the service began. I love her voice.


Very, very sad to note the passing of Raylene Rankin.

Image from islandviewcreations.com

She passed away from cancer at age 52.

Way too young. I loved her voice and her spirit.

Very, very sad.

“I’m at a place now where I guess I’m just content, I accept the roads I’ve taken and the roads not taken. And what I’ve come away from the whole experience with is an appreciation of all those things , all those gifts that have been given to me. My husband, my son, my family, my very good friends, the career that I’ve had that I sort of fell into, just little things like the first crocuses of the spring, the spring light which is different than winter light. All those things I see as little diamonds.” – Raylene Rankin

When we arrived on Gillis Mountain
You could see for miles in the light
The whitecaps on the sea of blue
Sparkled like diamonds in the night
They sparkled like diamonds in the night

Raylene Rankin
Image from thechronicleherald.ca

When the waves roll on over the waters
And the ocean cries
We look to our sons and daughters
To explain our lives
As if a child could tell us why

That as sure as the sunrise
As sure as the sea
As sure as the wind in the trees
We rise again in the faces of our children
We rise again in the voices of our song
We rise again in the waves out on the ocean
And then we rise again

When the light goes dark with the forces of creation
Across a stormy sky
We look to reincarnation
To explain our lives
As if a child could tell us why

That as sure as the sunrise
As sure as the sea
As sure as the wind in the trees
We rise again in the faces of our children
We rise again in the voices of our song
We rise again in the waves out on the ocean
And then we rise again

We rise again in the faces of our children
We rise again in the voices of our song
We rise again in the waves out on the ocean
And then we rise again