The emergence of blues billionaires – The Property Chronicle
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The emergence of blues billionaires

The Storyteller

Bruce Springsteen selling his music to Sony for a half-billion dollars has gotten me thinking about my music and what I might get for the songs I wrote when my radio show was touring the country, such as my song for Milwaukee (“Where men still wear hats they look rather sporty in/And children still take lessons on the accordion”) and one in Idaho (“People move here from New York and New Joisy/To get away from the frantic, the noisy,/For the simple pleasures of Boise”) or: “I love Washington, DC/In summer it is the place to be./Girls run across the lawn playing catch with a red plastic disc/By the Washington Monument obelisk.”

Bruce wrote about being on the run and down and out, but so have thousands of other songwriters, and I believe I’m one of the few who wrote a song about the beauty of our nation’s capital. Or Harvard (“The campus throbs with the fevers/Of serious overachievers”) or Hollywood:

Past Sunset & Gower, and the old Columbia studio,
Home of Frank Capra, and Curly, Larry and Moe,
And here is the gate they used to walk through:
Nyuk nyuk nyuk. Woo woo woo.

You get my drift. Bruce was going for the universal, I was going for local. Bruce gave voice to a certain male sense of superiority in being an alienated fugitive and I spoke to the pride of being in love with a place, such as Katz’s Deli on the Lower East Side:

Americans trying to be British
Avoid speaking Yiddish
But the delicatessen known as Katz’s,
For Republicans or Democrats is
A beacon of corned beef and pastrami,
As permanent as Leviticus or Deuteromi.

The Storyteller

About Garrison Keillor

Garrison Keillor

Garrison Keillor did 'A Prairie Home Companion' for 40 years, wrote fiction and comedy, invented a town called Lake Wobegon, where all the children are above average, even though he himself grew up evangelical in a small separatist flock where all the children expected the imminent end of the world. He’s busy in retirement, having written a memoir and a book of limericks, and is at work on a musical and a Lake Wobegon screenplay, and he continues to do 'The Writers Almanac', sent out daily to Internet subscribers (free). He and his wife Jenny Lind Nilsson live in Minneapolis, not far from the YMCA where he was sent for swimming lessons at age 12 after his cousin drowned, and he skipped the lessons and went to the public library instead and to a radio studio to watch a noontime show with singers and a band. Thus, our course in life is set.

Articles by Garrison Keillor

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