As we shelter in place with deep changes to all our lives that we could not even imagine just a short time ago, we can still seek solace in our music. Many artists, now out of work, are offering free concerts on the internet through YouTube and Facebook. We need to support these efforts. I will talk about some of these shortly but first I would like to tell a story and play a song that offers the most hope to me.
Before I retired, I was a pharmacist for many years in San Diego. I was working on the front lines of a terrible crisis. Many of my patients faced certain death from AIDS. I was dispensing medications that forestalled the inevitable but eventually and very sadly the end result was the same. It was heartbreaking to see these fine people going downhill and passing away. Yet there was hope and researchers finally put together the right combination of drugs that prevented these deaths. As with past crises, by helping each other and by our perseverance, we will get through this crisis.
During the HIV catastrophe, a song with deep meaning and hope was released by a collaboration from Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, and Gladys Knight. It was written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager, songwriters that I talked about a couple of programs ago. This recording, billed as "Dionne & Friends", was released as a charity single for AIDS research and prevention. It was a massive hit, becoming the number-one single of 1986 in the United States, and winning the Grammy Awards for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and the coveted Song of the Year. That song to be played is That’s What Friends Are For.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this show, many now out of work artists are playing free concerts on the internet. On the Smooth Jazz front the most notable of these is from our favorite trumpeter, the artist that opens all our shows, Rick Braun. From his in home studio he has already provided one live concert. It was fabulous. He told us not to spread the germs but to spread the love. He will be doing a series of free concerts during this crisis. All will be available on YouTube. His site for these concerts is : http://bit.ly/rickscafelive
I would like to also mention that several local musicians are providing free music. Allison Scull and Victor Martin from Dunsmir play many engagements in our community. They feature Acoustic-Jazz & Soul with Vocals, Guitar, and saxophone. They posted the song Esperanza, written by Allison. In Spanish it means hope which is exactly what we all need at this time. I will play that song.
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