Audio Clips Are here!

May 8th, 2005

Remember Me - by John SprungSome audio clips from the CD have been posted, in MP3 format. The clips are about a minute long, and go to the first bridge in the songs.

If you’d like to buy a CD, click here to send me an e-mail and I’ll get back to you. CDs are $15 each. Bulk orders (two or more) are $12.50 each.

You may also want to check out the website for John’s distributor at www.cdbaby.com/cd/sprungjohn You can hear two-minute cuts from all the songs on the CD, order via credit card, plus write reviews. In addition, you can access a wide variety of other artists from the same or similar genres.

1. Remember Me (5:36) Listen
2. Bleaker On Bleeker (3:47)  
3. Sweet Lorena (2:39)  
4. Red Sox Lament (6:52) Listen
5. Mereddith Lee (4:17)  
6. Dark Side Of Broadway (4:50) Listen
7. Billy Jackson’s Birthday (6:16)  
8. Twilight Lady (5:34)  
9. Paying His Dues (3:08) Listen
10. Nancy Green (5:07) Listen
11. Frankie (3:41)  
12. Lou’s Job (3:54)  
13. Waiting (4:28)  
14. Lovers, Partners & Friends (3:13)  
 

John on the radio.

May 8th, 2005

AudioJohn on the radio:
(Download an mp3 of the entire show by clicking here)

Recent live appearance on WFDU. On May 22d, John was Ron Olesko’s guest on “Traditions,” a folk music program on New Jersey’s NPR affiliate station, WFDU (89.1 FM). John began the show with “Leipzig, 1813,” a tongue-in-cheek birthday song about opera great Richard Wagner, on the 192nd anniversary of his birth.  In addition to introducing two other new songs, John provided an updated version of “The Red Sox Lament.” This was necessitated in recognition of the Sox’s astonishing comeback victory run in last year’s ALCS, which led to their first World Series Championsip in 87 years.  Ron played several other cuts from the CD “Remember Me and other Songs,” to which John provided some interesting background information.  For a full playlist, please go to www.wfdu.fm. This program may be heard in its entirety by clicking on the post entitled “Listen to John on the Radio.”

“Traditions,” now in its 25th year, is the longest running program on WFDU, and features a broad and diverse look into the world of folk music, both traditional and contemporary. Over the years, Ron’s guests have included some of the most important and well known voices in folk music.

A Selective Sinatra Retrospective

September 25th, 2003

Part 1: “Only the Lonely” – Frank Sinatra and the Concept Album
It is hard to believe that Frank Sinatra has been dead for five years. Just like many long-time fans, I’ve spent my entire life surrounded by his voice and still feel the creative void caused by his absence.

Think about it-Sinatra’s work made its imprint on the musical scene in the late 30’s, when All or Nothing at All was first heard with the Harry James Band, and continued through the surprise hits of his two “Duets” albums in the early 90’s. Imagine some other singer (before or after) having newly recorded songs on the charts in seven different decades. Most popular musicians would consider five years in the limelight a goal worth achieving, and five decades an impossibility. Paul Simon correctly observed that, “Every generation drops a hero off the pop charts.” Not so with Sinatra.

Both before and since his passing, there has been much written about Sinatra the man and Sinatra the singer.1 He, of course, was a man who inspired strong reactions among friend and foe alike. I’m not going to dwell on his having had four wives (not to mention countless paramours), his “Rat-Pack” exploits, the political odyssey from F.D.R. liberal to Reagan conservative, his non-musical achievements as a movie star, let alone his notorious Jekyll and Hyde personality. Suffice it to say, his was a larger than life existence. But I’d much prefer to focus on his major contribution to the world: his music.

Read the rest of this entry »

Gemini

September 12th, 2001

SILVER BEACONS OF COMMERCE AND HOPE,
THE TWINS STOOD TALL, SYMBOLS OF WHAT COULD.
APPROACHING THEIR REFLECTED LIGHT I STRODE
AS ALWAYS
CARELESSLY, INNOCENTLY.
AND THEN THE SOUND, A HEAVY LOW THUD FROM ON HIGH.
WINDOWS IMPLODE, GLASS DOMINOS
A DIRTY BLACK PLUME OF SMOKE
THE WHIRLWIND FIREBALL
ITS GHASTLY PROJECTILES

I GAPE IN HORRIFIC DISBELIEF

AS THE SCREEN DISASTERS WE SO EMBRACE

BECOME REALITY WHEN THE MIXED BLESSING OF OPEN BORDERS

COLLIDES WITH A CLOSED SOCIETY

 

A SKYLINE EXTINGUISHED

BUT WITH IT NOT THE DREAM,

THE IDEA THAT IS AMERICA.

 

ENDURE WITH ME THE ALTERED FUTURE

FULL OF DREAD AND HOPE

AND RESOLVE.

OUR FLAG IS STILL THERE

Justice Delayed

June 7th, 2000

Gary Silver is a federal appeals court judge, who is literally awakened from a recurring nightmare one morning by a telephone call from the President of the United States.  The call, to offer him a position on a suddenly vacated seat on the Supreme Court, will reshape the balance of the court for years to come.  The time is the indefinite present; the issue, definitely timely.Silver is both surprised and overwhelmed by the offer, but gratefully accepts.  The president puts him in touch with Sid Miller, a former senator, whose job is to manage the nomination process through a conservative dominated Judiciary Committee.

He has all the credentials for a model justice.  An honors graduate of Harvard Law School, Silver was a nationally recognized professor at Columbia Law School, until he was tapped by the president eight years earlier to be a federal judge.  Since that time, he has served with distinction, amassing a record as a thoughtful and careful jurist.  To the extent his judicial philosophy could be categorized, he is a progressive moderate.

In addition, Silver’s history is linked with one of the signal events of the post-war period.  He was among the band of young activists who went down south in the summer of 1964 to help break down the fortified walls of segregation.  While undergoing training for the Mississippi Summer Project, Silver met and fell in love with a young African-American Vassar student named Eleanor Williams.  Eleanor, however, was torn between her feelings for Silver, a white man, and Derrick Rogers, the charismatic black militant leading the project.  When Rogers is kidnapped by a band of southern vigilantes, Eleanor begs Gary to try to rescue him.  The circumstances under which he fails to save Rogers’s life is the source of the nightmares that have since plagued him.  In the hearings, they come back to haunt his entire family as well.

After barely escaping with his own life, Silver and Williams are whisked out of the area by the FBI.  In order to protect a confidential informant, the case is never brought to light (although the confirmation process will ultimately revive the investigation at great risk to all involved). When, a few weeks later, Eleanor announced her pregnancy, Gary (though unsure as to whether he or Rogers was the father), is quick to propose.  Despite both parents’ warnings of the perils of intermarriage, Gary marries Eleanor and raises the boy as his own. In addition to the son they have named after their slain civil rights colleague, the couple has a daughter.  While the attractive and successful young woman easily adjusts to her bi-racial status, their son struggles with his racial identity to the point of assuming the parentage of his namesake and aiding Gary’s enemies.  The family’s years together involve issues of infidelity, abortion, child rearing, and love, as two strong-willed people work to survive a crisis and heal the wounds between themselves and their children.

Although initially lauded as a civil rights hero, the truth behind Silver’s Mississippi experience and the death of their martyred colleague proves more ambiguous.  In addition, a short but intense love affair with a  Marxist student of his some thirty years before comes back to haunt him, as both issues infect the volatile confirmation process, involving the media, the FBI, the senate leadership, and the president. The book’s primary theme is the increasingly politicized process of judicial confirmation hearings.  Here, the stakes are so high, and the secrets so damaging, that even murder becomes an option. In the end, two sets of fathers and sons learn the cost of “Justice Delayed.”