And WC Handy will still look down on him… Rainy Days and Songdays celebrates Tyson Fury as he goes Walking in Vegas and Memphis.
The Gypsy King has become as big a headliner in Vegas as Celine Dion, Elton John and The Osmonds (yes, really).
The World Heavyweight champion brought the house down when he adapted another American classic in the ring after defeating Deontay Wilder, who really ought to have had the home fans in the palm of his destructive hands.
Now we’ll forgive Tyson for being disorientated.
And not quite knowing his surroundings after Wilder put him on the seat of his pants during the fight.
Because WC Handy was an Alabaman, who made his name in Memphis, Tennessee, as the Father of the Blues.
Tyson would be a thousand miles away though if he had touched down in the land of the Delta Blues.
‘Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy… that’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.’ And doesn’t Harper Lee’s state Alabama and the Deep South have a lot to sing and write about.
That great novel, To Kill A Mockingbird was 60 years old last year.
And it is regularly listed as one of the public’s favourite books and Harper Lee is rightly celebrated in the Deep South state.
So much so that the good residents of her own Monroeville homestead live the story every year.
With the locals actually becoming part of the cast alongside Jem, Scout, Boo Ridley, Atticus Finch and Tom Robinson.
Part of the cast
Every April and May, a version of Mockingbird is put on by people from the community.
And you’ll see the jury preside over Tom Robinson’s trial is selected from the audience before each performance.
While just a short drive away lies Montgomery where Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald lived from 1931-32 and where Scott worked on Tender is the Night.
The tourism industry in Louisville is down but not out. As Louisville’s Muhammad Ali once said: ‘You don’t lose if you get knocked down, you lose if you stay down,’ and we don’t intend to stay down. – Karen Williams, Louisville Tourism on the Greatest Kentuckian
They all tried but not one succeeded.
And on the eve of the fifth anniversary of Muhammad Ali’s death, his cri de coeur is as loud now as when he first called us to arms.
There was an outpouring of affection and reflection from around the world on June 3, 2016.
When our hero lost the hardest fight of his life and nobly slipped away.
The Greatest Featival
But, of course, Ali is still with us all and nowhere more so than in his home town of Louisville in Kentucky in America’s Deep South.
Where the annual Muhammad Ali Festival, which will run from June 3-13, will be expanded this year.
it will focus on unity, justice and a rebirth of Louisville.
That’ll be Louisville then
The festival will kick off on June 4 with the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards and it will conclude with the Derby City Jazz Festival.
Past winners of the awards include many worthy winners from the general public who have done extraordinary things.
As well as celebrity philanthropists such as Christina Aguilera, President Jimmy Carter, Susan Sarandon, Harry Belafonte, Ashley Judd and Michael J. Fox.
MLK 50, the 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King‘s assassination in 2018, was always going to be a crossroads in race relations but alas we then took the wrong fork in 2020. So this week we’re remembering George Floyd a year on.
It’s one of those annoying Government buzzwords so let’s claim it back with a Rainy Days and Songdays Green Lighting megamix around the world. Our favourite songs with ‘green’ in the title and the countries where they transport us.
The old rogue Burns was pure rock’n’roll and could pen a lyric and a tune which is probably why he is held in such high regard by the greatest singer-songwriters of the latter half of the 20th century.
With Bob Dylan, no less, crediting the Scot as his greatest inspiration.
Every nation sacrificed its most promising generation in No Man’s Land but for those from the furthest outposts of Empire… well, it just seems to be all the more pointless to modern sensibilities.
Eric Bogle, a Scots-born Australian, explores the pyschological cost to one survivor ‘young Willie McBride’. And it was all the more poignant after I’d seen the statue of the Scots soldier in northern France.