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Music Tag

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has been targeting American Reggae musician Matisyahu because he is Jewish and refuses to denounce Israel. In the summer of 2015 an international firestorm of controversy erupted after BDS succeeded in getting Matisyahu banned at the Spanish Rototom Reggae festival. The ban was reversed only after an international outcry, including denunciations by the Spanish government and a leading Spanish newspaper that the action amounted to religious discrimination. So when Matisyahu booked an appearance in Ithaca, NY, as part of his world tour, it was not long before the local BDS crowd, including our own BDS "star," sought a boycott of the event and planned a protest. But it didn't work. There was a substantial backlash in favor of artistic freedom. Ithaca resident Linda Glaser wrote a powerful op-ed in The Ithaca Journal, Let Jewish artist perform in Ithaca:
Artistic freedom is the right of every American, as it is based on the First Amendment right of freedom of speech. The Ithaca Coalition for Unity and Cooperation in the Middle East (ICU-CME) supports the right of American musician Matisyahu to perform and to be heard free from intimidation at the State Theatre of Ithaca.

Lesley Sue Goldstein, better known as Lesley Gore, was featured for a week in our Video of the Day series in December. She's best known for "It's My Party" but that was just a part, and not even the best, of her music. Fox News reports:
Singer-songwriter Lesley Gore, who topped the charts in 1963 at age 16 with her epic song of teenage angst, "It's My Party," and followed it up with the hits "Judy's Turn to Cry," and the feminist anthem "You Don't Own Me," died Monday. She was 68. Gore died of lung cancer at New York University Langone Medical Center in Manhattan, according to her partner of 33 years, Lois Sasson. "She was a wonderful human being — caring, giving, a great feminist, great woman, great human being, great humanitarian," Sasson, a jewelry designer, told The Associated Press. Brooklyn-born and New Jersey-raised, Gore was discovered by Quincy Jones as a teenager and signed to Mercury Records. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a degree in English/American literature. Gore's other hits include "She's A Fool," ''Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows," ''That's the Way Boys Are" and "Maybe I Know." She co-wrote with her brother, Michael, the Academy Award-nominated "Out Here On My Own" from the film "Fame."
Here are two of my favorites:

He died today. The BBC reports:
Singer Joe Cocker, best known for his cover of the Beatles' With A Little Help From My Friends, has died aged 70, his agent has confirmed. The Sheffield born singer-songwriter had a career lasting more than 40 years with hits including You Are So Beautiful and Up Where We Belong. His agent Barrie Marshall said Cocker, who died after battling lung cancer, was "simply unique". Sir Paul McCartney said he was a lovely guy who "brought so much to the world". Cocker's friend Rick Wakeman, keyboard player for the rock band Yes, called his rendering of With a Little Help From My Friends "sensational" and said: "He had a voice that was just unique."
He'll always be most remembered for his rendition at Woodstock of With A Little Help From My Friends: It was more than a rendition. It became something of a cultural icon:

If you are reading this on a Saturday over a holiday weekend then the video below from Legal Insurrection reader and sometimes commenter Bill Dyszel probably applies to you. You may remember Bill from these classics previously featured here: Top 10 Patriotic Junk Food Songs Mercurial Redemption, An...

Longtime readers know that Boney M and I go way back. For some reason I couldn't get this song out of my head last night. The words are from Psalms 137:1: By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. https://youtu.be/ta42xU2UXLA Which continues: If...

I previously have written how I saw Richie Havens live at My Father's Place when I was in high school, at the time we ran several of his songs as Videos of the Day in late January 2012: I saw Richie Havens at My Father’s Place...

Van Cliburn died today at age 78. The name lives on with the piano competition named after him. RIP, tall Texan: Renowned American classical pianist Van Cliburn died Wednesday morning at the age of 78 after a battle with bone cancer, publicist and longtime friend Mary Lou Falcone...

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